Open Letter to HLS Community

scales_of_justice

Below is a letter signed by members of the teaching community at Harvard Law School.

December 9, 2015
 
An Open Letter to the Harvard Law School Community
 
We, as faculty members, lecturers, instructors and senior staff at Harvard Law School, have been profoundly affected by the recent, salient examples of racial injustice in this country, and the wave of protests that have followed.  There is a growing awareness that such racial injustices require our urgent attention and that institutions of higher learning are among those in need of  reform. We join the call for, and offer ourselves to participate in, change now.
 
Hundreds of students and staff have called on this community more fully to recognize the long history of discrimination and the sometimes subtle forms of inequality and exclusion that still exist within Harvard Law School. Those students and staff made a series of demands last Friday that they “believe are necessary first steps to making HLS the inclusive, diverse community that we all want it to be” and to promoting the HLS mission “to educate leaders who contribute to the advancement of justice and the well-being of society.”
 
We have been inspired by their efforts, and we are grateful for the courage, intelligence, dignity, and resiliency that they have exhibited in calling for reform in our School and in our nation. We believe those students and staff should not be raising their voices alone. Moreover, we think that the time has come for our institutional conversation to shift to the task at hand: real, concrete and timely action. In signing this letter, we are taking one small step to make clear our strong support for making those investments.
 
These issues are not new. As a group of faculty and staff put it in an open letter a year ago:  “To all those involved in efforts to push for change, we will engage, individually and collectively, to challenge and dismantle the institutional and structural sources of injustice, particularly racial injustice.”  We reaffirm that commitment now.  Complacency is not an option. We are ready to work with students and staff in an immediate, concrete and informed process or assessment and reform.  The current activism presents us with an opportunity that lovers of justice cannot afford to squander.

Signed,

Sabi Ardalan
Ona Balkus
Roger Berlting
Cheryl Bratt
Esme Caramello
Stephanie Davidson
Fernando Delgado
Chris Desan
Julia Devanthery
Susan Farbstein
Stephanie Goldenhersh
Lee Goldstein
Tyler Giannini
Michael Gregory
Lani Guinier
Janet Halley
Jon Hanson
Duncan Kennedy
Eloise Lawrence
Jacob Lipton
Ken Mack
Maureen McDonagh
Toby Merrill
Lia Monahon
Dana Montalto
Deborah Popowski
Robert Proctor
Intisar Rabb
Stephanie Robinson
Ronald Sullivan
Jeannie Suk
Phil Torrey
Dehlia Umunna

Please note: there will be more signatures added over the next several days. If you want to add your name, email jlipton@law.harvard.edu

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